7 out of 10 in the dark over care costs

SEVEN OUT OF 10 adults receiving care have no idea how much it costs - and less than half are confident about navigating the system, according to a new survey.

The poll by adult social care specialist Younifi found that 72% of care recipients and 78% of those caring for others believe there must be a better way to deliver care.

However, only 40% of recipients feel they can navitage the care system and just 23% feel they know enough about the types of services available to make informed decisions about the future.

Care givers feel even less informed, with only 12% saying they have sufficient knowledge to make decisions about the right choice of care for family or friends.

"It's extremely concerning that both care recipients and their carers have so little knowledge as to the care options available to them or what their current care packages cost," said Tony Pilkington, managing director of Younifi.

"However, this comes as no surprise as it's often the case that those in need of care will just accept what they are offered without realising there are other options available.

"Illustrating the need for improved knowledge and information, a recent report from SOCITM said that half of councils fail to provide good online service for social care support - the public appetite is there so we are failing to meet expectations."

A clear majority of people would like to take greater responsibility for their own care, with 68% of recipients wanting to take control, many in partnership with close family.

Over three-quarters of respondents were interested in making greater use of technology - 88% wanted technology to give them independence, 87% wanted to use it to help them remain in control of their care, 84% wanted to use it to stay informed, and 82% wanted it to help them remain at home.

Personalisation of care was also important but undelivered part of care aspirations. Only 11% said services are highly tailored to their needs, despite 63% wanting this.

"It's reassuring to see that people are open to the use of technology to help deliver and manage care. It has the potential to revolutionise how people choose their care and support and the options available to them," Pilkington said.

"We know a revolution is overdue in the care system and with our ageing population and one in three of us expected to get dementia, local authorities have the public mandate as well as the all-too-regular headline-topping challenges to be ambitious. It's time to change those perceptions and consider the alternative possibilities for care delivery and management that technology enables."